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Got home to a phone call from home tonight. My mother was driving a garden tractor and was thrown when it hit a dip. She broke both bones in her lower leg just above the ankle joint. It could have been worse; the tractor didn't run over her (and she wasn't mowing). She's expecting to have surgery on Friday; we'll find out tomorrow exactly when and what her surgeon expects to do.

Unfortunately, she still likely has a long recovery as this is the leg that she had a DVT in after surgery in 2003. So she has circulation problems in that leg and is at a higher risk for a DVT after this one.

Other than that, things are going well for us, but very, very busy. I do wish that my latest Botox shot was more effective, but we can fix that in June.

S
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Another weekend, another event. This one was an hour north of town in a local shire. The event went well. I got to art-geek all day long. I spent 5 1/2 hours painting a charter (photocopy scroll -- don't ask). For not having picked up a paintbrush in about 5 years, I think I did all right. Gotta work on staying in the lines a bit more (i.e., paintbrush control).

I also competed in the period desserts competition and won. I didn't expect to since part of the competition was the display and documentation was not going to be stringent; I expected the three-tier birthday cake to win. I was wrong; *I* won. I'm happy about that!

Juliana had a great day gossiping with folks. She sat gate for a while in the late afternoon, so she had a pretty laid-back day -- no real heraldic consulting to speak of (not surprising as she didn't take the books).

Sable's doing better. Her paw did start to get infected so she's on antibiotics and steroids right now. Her lip is looking better too.

Gotta go, a not so little black kitty cat is trying to push the laptop off my lap.

S

S

Beads!

Mar. 27th, 2010 09:27 pm
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I has made beads! Eight of them! Yea!!!!

Today was a beadmaking class taught by a somewhat-local guy (who happens to be a friend). I was originally scheduled for the morning session, but was able to get switched to the afternoon, which was good because I woke up with one helluva headache. Major meds and caffeine took care of it.

I know, eight beads aren't very many, but they were the second through ninth beads I've ever made. And they look good! Phaelan was nice enough to loan me a torch and supplies for a month so I can test out how physically demanding it will be on me before I invest the money on my own. If today is any indication, it won't be too terrible, but I won't really know for sure until tomorrow or Monday when the muscles really get a chance to react. But I had fun!

In other news, poor Sable has had another eosinophillic flare. It started a week ago on her lips, then her eyelids but now one foot is involved. So she's in an Elizabethan collar and foot soaks twice a day, which she enjoys. NOT! This evening I was her ladder out of the water and away from the nasty wet stuff. Maybe she saw me as her speed bump. All I know was cat claws can and will penetrate a T-shirt -- all five on each foot. Ow.

Julia's back from her conference. She gave a paper on taboo words. Her take is any paper that lets you swear at the audience and they'll applaud later is a good paper.

S
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I've had some kind of tummy virus all week -- which really sucked. Finding food that would not would not burn or hurt has been a huge challenge. But I was hungry this evening, so hopefully I'm nearly over it.

Last weekend I spend a couple of hours shopping for new spring/summer clothes for work. I thought I had accidentally sent the wrong dress pants to Goodwill, but I found them at the end of the weekend -- so I now have *two* pairs that fit and look good. I have a dirty little secret to admit; I started watching "What Not to Wear" while I had Fridays off. Julia admits that it did good things; it pulled me out of my wardrobe "malaise." I've stopped wearing baggy sweaters everywhere and only wear them at home when it's cold (and not always then if my shoulder bothers me and I want the heating pad). My wardrobe must have been really bad when the guys at work noticed the admittedly-radical change in what I was wearing. I'm still working how to incorporate silk scarves into my new style.

S
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Woohoo!!! Health care reform passed!!!!!!!

S
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Our internet access straightened itself out on its own. I'm suspecting that one of our neighbors had a modem that was using the same frequency as ours. Whatever it was, it's fixed now.

This week has been busy, busy, busy. One of Julia's coworkers had a party for some guests of the university Monday, there was a speaker on a Mexican art exhibit back east (he was the curator) Wednesday, and one of our barony members got married yesterday. Julia's mom has been sick (she's better now), and it's finals weekend -- grades are due Tuesday. Whew!

I also had three doctor's appointments for allergy testing this week. The doctor doesn't think that we have figured out what I reacted to last fall, but I'm not so sure. I discovered I'm reactive to thimerisol (a mercury-based preservative found in many contact-care products and some anti-bacterial hand gels -- oh, and some vaccines). It's possible that I was not reacting to soap, but rather to an antiseptic spray for hands. I'm waiting to see if they send me an MSDS.

Work has been really quite busy and getting busier. I've been finishing up two translations of manuals -- I don't expect the translator to get all the graphics formatting quite right. I also had a little issue with a translator and the company has been told not to use him on any of our manuals again -- the guy was arrogant and would not admit that he didn't understand the engineering terms he faced (and wouldn't ask *any* questions).

I have at least four manuals bearing down on me with more coming. Plus there's a bunch more translations I'll need. Job security!

S
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Our internet access was flaky all weekend. No one could stay in touch via wireless for more than a minute or two at a time (though the downstairs wired connection worked). So Juliana and I have mostly managed our e-mail via our iPhones.

Today the connection is miraculously fixed. But I didn't discover this until after nine so no food blog tonight. I'll post tomorrow -- I made some amazing spice bread tonight that I just want to share.

Today I've begun the last phase of the allergy tests to figure out what went on this winter. I currently have three largish allergy patched taped to my back -- they'll come off Wednesday. Of course, I can't get them wet, so no showers, only sponge-baths. I've done it at Pennsic so it shouldn't be too bad (I'm not nearly as sweaty or grimy as then). But my back stings and itches. And I have something sticky attached to it. *whine*

S
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I did as well as I expected in kingdom A&S this weekend. I also learned a lot about what the judges were looking for -- a lot of niggly and intrusive crap sometimes (like why do they want to know how my first experiments -- ten years ago -- went or how this ties into my persona??). But, if I want to have a real shot, I've got to play the game.

My mouthwash recipe didn't do quite as well as I had hoped, but I deserved the marks I got. I didn't really get started on it until January and spent so much time on the paleography that I didn't have time to research other recipes. In addition, I undermined myself significantly -- I didn't have any confidence in the taste of the mouthwash, which significantly improved over two days. The judges all wanted to try the mouthwash, but declined to use the container I provided for spitting out after swishing! They all swallowed it; I guess they decided it was an easy way to get a drink in a high school.

I think I did pretty well on the fine bread, but I haven't tallied those scores yet (I wish they would have tallied and averaged them for us *sigh*).

Last night, I went to bed at nine and got up at six (with only two or three interruptions overnight). I'm doing pretty well physically, but mentally and emotionally, I'm still tired. I had a great weekend -- made a lot of really, really good contacts and saw multiple Laurels paraded past my entries (at least two by one of the judges), so that's a good thing.

Now I need to figure out what I'm going to do for next year. That's likely to depend on where it is; if it's close, I might do one course of a feast. But I need to sit down and figure out my obligations and priorities for the next year.

S
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Today was a glorious day! Mid-40s and sunny!!!! Looks like that's how much of the week will be, with the usual Spokane caveats about possible overnight flurries.

S
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The steroid have helped immensely!! I'm not totally itch-free, but I'm no longer taking scheduled doses of *three* different anti-histamines! And I'm steriod-goop free at the moment. I have an allergist appointment next Monday to see what's up.

Work is coming apace on my Kingdom A&S entries. I'm working on the documentation and trying to figure out how to explain how you read a period manuscript. The focus isn't the reading of it, but it is very difficult to develop remedies from a period source if you haven't. I've got four remedies from this manuscript, so that's plenty.

S
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Valentine's Day dinner was a success!!! I made roasted asparagus in garlic bacon fat for an appetizer, broiled lobster tail with rice pilaf and broccoli/cauliflower with havarti cheese sauce for the main course, and Mexican molten chocolate cake with strawberry sauce for dessert. And washed it down with a quite lovely Columbia Crest Horse Heaven Hills chardonnay. If you want recipes, go to my food blog. :)

And just for amusement, Horse Heaven Hills gets abbreviated as H3, but the 3 looks more like a yogh than a 3.

S

ITCHY!!!

Feb. 12th, 2010 07:27 pm
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The itchiness has come back with a vengeance. Not only is it worse than before, but it is more embarrassing - I itch from mid-chest all the way up. ALL the way up. So I need to scratch under my clothes and in my hair. Yikes!

So I gave in and called my doctor for the next option (steroids) because adding a third antihistamine isn't helping enough (and I can't use the cream on my face or ears). So if I'm bitchier than normal, you can chalk it up to 'roid rage.

S
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A note to The Powers That Be:
When I order a freezer, it's because I need one. I need somewhere to store food. Don't assume you know better than I do about what I need and cancel my order!


Best Buy has cancelled my freezer order and notified me about it today -- via e-mail! I'm so-o-o-o-o ticked off at them. I think I am going to order it from one of the local appliance companies. Probably University Appliance as I had a very pleasant experience when we bought the refrigerator.

S
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It's been a kind of crappy weekend. Mostly because I feel crappy. Yesterday was a day of micromanaging pain medications all day (staggered doses). I think I may be addicted to my heating pad (I nearly cried when I couldn't take it to the grocery store).

My A&S project is coming along nicely. I have 6 words not transcribed -- 4 of those are the same word in different places in the manuscript. I have about 2 or 3 that I am not sure are transcribed correctly -- or the author misspelled them. I'm ready to start on the Middle English to Modern English translation now and that may help with the transcriptions.

S
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Well, I got the results of the 24-food allergy panel today. I tested negative to everything -- including walnuts (which still doesn't explain the mouth and throat ulcers when I eat them). So that's good news.

Unfortunately we still don't know what I'm reacting to, so I'm getting a referral to the allergist (just what I need, another doctor). But hopefully we can get to the bottom of this.

S
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I decided to keep my doctor's appointment today. The hives/rash is much better, but still there in patches and I wanted to find out what our next steps were. It's a good thing I did -- while I was sitting in the doctor's office, my neck turned bright red. When looking for other areas of rash, it turned out that I also had some red rash on the backs of my calves. So, I think that answers the question of contact dermatitis as I had nothing touching my neck.

Right now we are running a food allergy panel for the top 24 food allergens. If nothing comes out of it, then our next step is an allergist for more in depth testing. Grrr.

I also have a new anti-itch med to use in addition to everything else.

S
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Over the last few weeks, I've been getting progressively itchier. About two weeks or so ago, I called my dr. to find out what to do -- I thought it was just dry skin. Well, the hives started reappearing Wed, so I called my dr. to find out what else we could do.

So I'm back on the steriod cream and will see her on Monday. We're trying to figure out what I've been exposed to that would have restarted this, though I am starting to wonder if it's not an allergy. I haven't been able to figure out a common denominator for the itchiness -- it doesn't matter what meds I'm taking, what I've eaten or drunk, what I wear, what I wash with, or whatever. I'm frustrated!

S
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I know better than to try to buy appliances from Sears. I thought I learned my lesson with the dryer. But I thought it might be an anomaly, so I tried it again. BAD IDEA!

My ordeal )
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Computer might be fixed; we'll see. Dell wanted me to restore my computer to its original factory settings. So far this seems to be working, but I'm not confident that it will last.

So now I'm reinstalling software, trying to get the modem and my laptop to work together (done), and trying to get Mozilla set up the way I like it. *sigh*

S
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Expect spottier than normal posting for the next few weeks. First I'm working on an A&S entry for kingdom champion (given my competition, I doubt I'll win, but I want to have a reasonably good showing). Second, I'm having crazy, insane computer problems -- my computer likes to freeze A LOT!!!! I have had to reboot it as many as ten times (often with three or more checkdisks run) before I could get a stable boot of it. I am clearly having hard drive issues, so I plan to get that replaced soon (like, hopefully this week) and having operating system (VISTA) issues, which a hard drive replacement may also fix.

S

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